The Post Where I Feel Like A Dumb Ass

I didn’t make it to class yesterday as I’m feeling proppa poorly. Have a stinking cold, spent the day drinking tea in my jim jams *sob* So no class means no cake either! 😦

So instead, lets talk about, as we’d say here, what a “dumb arse” I am πŸ˜‰

I’ve been reading Fred White’s The Daily Writer and recently he talked about re-writing. A good entry in the book, but, he mentioned a few abbreviations, the scribbled red words that teachers would add to our homework. Now, these particular abbreviations have had me scratching my head. Even a Google search didn’t give me great answers. So I can only conclude that there are 3 possible reasons why I don’t know what he’s on about.

1. I never did any homework.
2. Teachers in the UK never used these.
3. My homework was so goddam good that my teacher never needed the red pen! Yeah right πŸ˜‰

These are the abbreviations:


Ok so I think I’ve worked out:

GR means grammar (that’s simple)
DICT means dictionary (spelling?)
SP means specific, or starting point, or security police or swimming pool (I would have thought it was used to mean spelling personally, but apparently not lol)
MECH means mechanism?
FRAG means fragment?
AWK means awkward (ahhhhh, another easy one!)
WEAK well this one is either The Water & Enviromental Agency in Kansas or, and I think much more plausible, just the word “weak” written in capitals lol

Help me out guys….do you know what these mean and were they written on your homework in red pen?

Now I have an acronym for Mr White…. WTF? πŸ˜‰

44 thoughts on “The Post Where I Feel Like A Dumb Ass

  1. Hi Vikki
    I used to get ‘sp’ written in the margin all the time for ‘spelling’ in my school work and I still see teachers use this abbreviation. Not sure about the others though.


  2. You’re not a dumb ass
    GR is grammar, DICT maybe diction, sp is spelling, FRAG is fragment, AWK is awkward , WEAk is weak sentence
    My teachers didn’t use this either but they appear to be proof reading symbols


  3. I’m as much of a dumbass as you! I can see the others, but what the heck is MECH? Even writing the whole word – mechanism – if that’s what it means, wouldn’t help me know what they meant! Another entertaining post, Vikki. πŸ™‚


  4. As a teacher, I use a few of these! Here’s what I know for sure:

    DICT = Diction. It means the words you’ve chosen don’t work well together. When spoken aloud, they sound weird or might give a speaker trouble.
    SP = Spelling. I use this one a lot!
    MECH= Mechanics. It means sentence structure is off.
    FRAG = Fragment.

    As for GR, I have no idea! I’ve never used or seen that one.


  5. Your friends have their clever trousers on. Not to worry, though. None of my teachers ever used those notations either. For what it’s worth, here’s my take:
    GR means grammar – definitely
    DICT means diction. It’s a word choice issue in my mind. Kind of like the Inigo Montoya phenomenon: You keep using that word … I do not think it means what you think it means πŸ™‚
    SP means spelling
    MECH means mechanics. So the basic mechanics of your sentence aren’t working in that situation. You’re absent either a subject, a predicate, or you’ve left something dangling. It could also be a run-on, or a fragment (back to missing sommat).
    FRAG means fragment – yuppers. Example: Because he went home.
    AWK means awkward – right again. The sentence could be grammatically correct, but because of archaic usage (something as simple as ‘said she’), or because common use has dictated that the grammatically incorrect actually sounds better to our corrupt ears, it just doesn’t ‘sound’ right. Example: ‘He didn’t know to whom he spoke’ is grammatically correct, but who says stuff like that anymore? Example: Across the pond, everyone, presidents to poodles, now says things like, ‘the policy impacted staff’ rather than ‘the policy had an impact on staff.’ Newscasters say it all the time. So do politicians and policy-makers. To quote Kevin Kline from “French Kiss,” it makes my arse twitch πŸ™‚
    WEAK means weak πŸ™‚ Usually this refers to something written in the passive voice (man was bitten by dog), or it may refer to how you’ve used your verb forms. Example: ‘She had ridden for hours’ is weaker than ‘she rode for hours.’ It could also refer to telling. ‘She was saddened by the loss’ is weak compared to ‘When they closed the casket, Rebecca’s heart lay beside David’s within.’
    Crappy examples, but you get the idea.
    Many of these rules can be successfully broken for effect, but if they occur frequently, the effect is often irritation πŸ˜›
    I wear the badge of the grammar Nazi proudly πŸ˜€


  6. Ahh the interesting abbreviations I used to try to figure out on my essays.
    GR is grammar, SP is speling, DICT is diction for sure, i.e. choice of words, FRAG is sentence fragmentation … the rest, I’m sure someone up there has given the response better than I did πŸ™‚


  7. My teachers used SP for spelling – although not on my work, obviously πŸ˜‰

    I know why you don’t know them all – because the author hasn’t bothered to explain properly and that’s not very helpful is it?


  8. Poor you- it’s so draining to be poorly, I really admire you for having the courage to blog at all! Hope you feel better soon.
    I did have some of the above on my essays – but mostly I had whole paragraphs crossed out or else ‘where did you get this from?!?’ in the margin.


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